New Delhi: In the eight days since May 23, when the Right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government came back to power at the Centre with a massive mandate, several cases of violence and discrimination against marginalised sections, such as dalits, have been reported in Uttar Pradesh. The state is also ruled by the BJP, led by Yogi Adityanath.
In a recent incident, four daily wage workers were beaten up by a group of unidentified youths for allegedly having meat near a religious compound in Baheri area of Bareilly district. In a video that has gone viral on social media, the attackers can be seen kicking and beating the four men with belts, slippers and verbally abusing them. The construction labourers had reportedly arrived at Baheri after being hired by a mason.
The victims told local reporters that they were having their meal when the youths arrived and started beating them up, alleging that they were eating meat. As the victims pleaded with them, the men continued beating them and filming a video.
Speaking to Newsclick, Ashok Kumar Singh, Circle Officer (CO) of Baheri, said: "Two people have been arrested so far and further investigation is going on. The victims are four contractual workers, who hail from the rural area of Bareilly, were hired for construction of a building. The youths came in a group and started beating them for eating meat, but it is not confirmed whether they were eating it or not."
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, Sanjay Singh, took to Twitter to condemn the incident. He said: "What kind of Hinduism is this to beating labourers while having meal? People who voted to BJP must watch this video, warning them that soon they too might get attacked for eating non-vegetarian food.”
Atrocities Against Dalits
On May 27, the Uttar Pradesh Police booked seven persons in Muzaffarnagar for allegedly raping a 14-year-old dalit girl who was later set on fire. The body of the girl was found in a charred state inside a makeshift home near a brick kiln where the family of the victim worked. The police have registered a first information report (FIR) on charges of gang rape, murder and sections of Scheduled Castes Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
In another instance reported in Basawanpur village of Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district, the statue of BR Ambedkar was defaced soon after Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Girish Chand won from the parliamentary constituency against BJP. The villagers are fearing that this could possibly be an indication of a larger conspiracy to attack the community.
Murders of Political Workers
Since May 23, a string of murders of political workers from different parties have been reported across the state. It started from Ghazipur where a Samajwadi Party (SP) leader and district panchayat member Vijay Yadav alias Pappu was shot dead outside his residence at Salarpur village in Ghazipur district on May 24, allegedly by three unidentified persons. Local SP leaders suspect that the murder may be the fallout of political rivalry in the wake of the recently held Lok Sabha elections.
Last Sunday, a former sarpanch Surendra Singh, considered close to newly elected MP of Amethi, Smriti Irani, was shot dead by unidentified assailants. He had actively campaigned for Irani during the Lok Sabha polls.
In another suspected political rivalry case, two Samajwadi Party leaders were shot dead by unidentified persons in separate incidents in Uttar Pradesh on Friday, police said.
Lalji Yadav, was shot dead near near Siddiquepur in Khwaja Sarai area of Jaunpur district on Friday morning. He was travelling on his SUV on the Shahganj-Jaunpur road and had stopped to talk to someone when three motorcycle-borne men intercepted the vehicle and opened fire, the police claimed.
In Gautam Buddh Nagar district, the president of the Samajwadi Party's Dadri assembly segment was killed in a similar manner. Ramtek Kataria was near his home on Jarcha road overseeing some construction work when four masked men pumped bullets into him in afternoon.